The ceremony was attended by Minister for Defence Honourable Win Daki, Chief of Papua New Guinea Defence Force Major General Mark Goina and New Zealand High Commissioner Phillip Taula.
Funded by the New Zealand Government, the Leadership Centre will provide a dedicated space and learning environment for leader development within the Kumul Leadership Framework, which was a collaborative development with the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) and completed in 2017.
Programme Principal for the NZDF’s Pacific Leader Development Programme, Lieutenant Colonel Gordon Milward said the Leadership Centre would also support ongoing leader research and development activities, including instructor and facilitator training, and foster inter-agency leader collaboration.
The opening of the leadership centre marks a significant contribution to the Papua New Guinea Defence Force’s (PNGDF) leader development capability. The centre provides a permanent home for the PNGDF’s dedicated and professional leadership staff, and a place of learning that the men and women of the PNGDF can return to, as they grow on their leadership journeys.
New Zealand High Commissioner Phillip Taula thanked the Motu Koita people the Mana fenua of the land in which the Centre was built. The Leadership Centre is a practical contribution that would support the leadership development process.
“Papua New Guinea is NZ’s largest island neighbor and our relationship stretches back to PNG’s independence in 1975. We are very proud of the partnership between our two countries and between our two defence forces. Over the past decade, the defence relationship has deepened and leadership development has become a core component. This launch of the Kumul Leadership Framework in 2017 was a major milestone. It led NZDF to increase its presence in PNG and to support delivery of the framework. Now with the completion of the centre, PNGDF has a practical and functional facility to develop its future leaders at all levels.”
A Facilitator Skills course in May will be the first course to be held at the Leadership Centre. More than 830 PNGDF personnel have completed courses through the Kumul Leadership Framework since it was launched.
The handover symbolized, for NZ an investment and its friendship in PNG and in the Defence relationship, as well as a commitment to work together to strengthen both of our countries and the region.
Chief of PNGDF Major General Mark Goina said that PNGDF was an organization of national significance and pride with its core task the defence of our sovereignty, integrity of our land, air, maritime borders and internal support of the RPNGC. He said as users of the facility they must ensure that the building is taken care of and utilized wisely in order for it to last longer.
“We now have a world class facility to match our world class leadership framework we have a home for growing and a delivery of leadership training not just for us but for all government departments. As we move forward, it is my intent that every officer, soldier, sailor, air person will receive the relevant levels of leadership training they require.”
A cultural presentation and gift exchange also took place between the PNG Chief of Defence and New Zealand Defence Advisor Lieutenant Colonel Francis Prendergast in honor of the Centre.